Convenient ways to fix a broken cell phone

These days almost everyone has a cell phone. Breaking a screen or dropping one in water doesn't mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new one.

Turns out you can save that money by fixing your current model.

Some of the most common problems people have with their cell phones are: A broken screen, a wet phone, or a bad battery.

Eddie Hamilton said he has dropped more than one cell phone, "Usually the phone won't be functional when I break it."

He didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone.

"While I could go out and get the latest and greatest new phone I've got some of that stubbornness. I just paid off my phone, I want to keep using it," he said.

Hamilton called Smart Tech, one of the Milwaukee area's cell phone repair companies.

What makes the company different is the owner, Ryan Siegler, travels to his customers. He specializes in iPhones and can repair cameras, charging ports, batteries, and speakers.

Fixing a cracked screen starts at $89.99 and goes up depending on the phone model. And it's quick, "it only takes about 15-20 minutes for a typical phone repair," Siegler said.

UBreakiFix also fixes broken electronics. We visited Robert Krecak's store in Whitefish Bay.

"We specialize in cell phones, tablets, and computers, but we also work on other devices as well," Krecak said.

Broken screen repairs take about an hour and typically cost $80 - $125 depending on the model.

Both Smart Tech and uBreakiFix use OEM quality parts, or, Original Equipment Manufacturer which is basically the same quality parts as the cell phone manufacturers use.

Apple Stores will also fix broken screens. New screens will run $129 - $279 including the iPhone X.

You could also try fixing your phone yourself. Sites like iFixit.com provide how-to videos. But Krecak warns, beware! "It would sort of be like the dentist giving you the drill and saying, 'hey, why don't you drill your own cavity' right?"

Another common problem with cell phones: a wet phone. Siegler said once you get water in it, power it down immediately.

He said you can then try putting the phone in a bag of rice but, "it could take up to a week to get water out of it but if we open it up we can clean out that water."

Bad batteries are another common issue. If your phone is always dying it could be how you charge it. Siegler recommends you stick with the USB connections and avoid the cheap, gas station car charges that can actually overcharge your battery.

"You don't want to use an after-market charger on an iPhone. That is basically like putting a turbo charger in an engine," he said. 

For more information about each of the companies mentioned click on the links below.

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